SAN DIEGO — A San Diego man has been convicted of a hate crime related to an altercation with a disabled person in an East Village convivence store last October, the City Attorney’s office said in a press release.

The incident occurred in the 7-Eleven on Park Boulevard, according to City Attorney Mara Elliot. The victim, who uses a wheelchair, had entered the store intending to purchase a drink before his work shift. While in the store, a male bystander offered to help the victim with his purchase.

The defendant, 42-year-old William Joseph Padilla, was standing near the check-out window after completing his purchase, the City Attorney’s office said. He was asked by the bystander to step aside for the victim, which led to a physical fight between Padilla and the man that continued outside the store.

Padilla returned inside to the 7-Eleven, according to the City Attorney’s office, to insult the victim by using slurs regarding the man’s disability, in addition to shouting things like “You stupid idiot, no one cares, I could kill you.” The victim said that he also spat at him several times.

Padilla was convicted on a misdemeanor count of willful cruelty to a dependent adult with a hate crime allegation.

Last week, Padilla was sentenced to 96 days in custody, one year of summary probation and the completion of an eight-hour anger management course.

“No one should be targeted in this way,” Elliott said. “Verbally assaulting a person because of their disability is the very definition of a hate crime. There is no excuse for the egregious actions of the defendant in this case.” 

Neither man was charged in connection to the physical altercation outside the store, according to the City Attorney, as it was deemed “mutual combat.”